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Library to ‘rock’ during summer reading program

“Libraries Rock!” Summer Reading Program will rock the Demopolis Public Library in June and July. Participants are given a reading log where they can track their reading progress. With each library visit, the librarian will stamp the log sheet, and the participant gets to pick a small prize from the treasure box.

Children’s Librarian Kathy Owings said that the reading program is for all ages, from pre-k to adults, but it is most popular with elementary and middle school students. This program has been a hit at the library for years.

“It’s just always amazed me. We had over 400 sign up for the program last year,” Owings said.

With this year’s theme being Libraries Rock!, the library is hosting fun and lively events throughout June and July, including a performance from the community band, a clown, a reptile show and a magician. Different craft sessions are also available each week.

As fun as the summer reading program is for the kids, Owings said that it also serves an important role in preventing learning loss when school is out. “The number one thing is to keep them active in reading over the summer.”

The program is designed to reach that goal while keeping the kids entertained and motivated. Participants can check out up to 10 books at a time on their student library card, but they aren’t limited to the library. They can add any book to their reading log. However, the librarians do recommend one thing. “We encourage them to read something at their reading level,” Owings said.

Even children who can’t read can get involved. Their parents can read the books to them and put it on the reading log themselves.

Owings said that “the community really supports [the program] pretty well.” Schools bring the librarians in to the students and parents about it. Local businesses and organizations also donate small prizes for the treasure box.

“The Friends of the Library help us tremendously with prizes and everything,” Owings said.

Registration for the summer reading program begins May 24. While there is no deadline to join, the program does end on July 27.

A full calendar of events is available at the library and on the library’s Facebook page and website. All events are free and open to the public. Events for teens and adults, such as “Crafternoon,” are also available but require signing up ahead of time.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, May 19 issue of the Demopolis Times.)